When Vin Scully beat Jackie Robinson in an ice-skating race


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Legendary Dodgers play-by-play broadcaster Vin Scully, who died Tuesday at age 94 , was close to Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, a world-class athlete. But in the early 1950s, Scully beat the Dodgers’ icon in an impromptu ice-skating race in upstate New York.

During a Dodgers broadcast in 2012, Scully told the story.

“What happened was Rachel and Jackie and I were going up to a resort in the Catskill Mountains a long, long time ago. Being a kid from the East, I had ice skates. Jackie and Rachel said, ‘Oh, you’re going to go skating. … They said, ‘We’ll go with you!'”

“‘Oh, I said, that’s great.’ The only problem was Rachel was about seven months pregnant.” But she put on ice skates, too.

Ever the competitor, Jackie Robinson—who spent much of his life in Southern California—challenged Scully to a race even though he had never ice skated. At the time, Scully laughed.

“I want to race you,” Robinson said, according to Scully, “because that’s how I am going to learn.”

Robinson ran on the ice on his ankles, vainly attempting to beat the Dodgers’ broadcaster. 

What was equally memorable, Scully said, was watching the pregnant Rachel skate, “kind of mincing around.”

“I had my heart in my throat.” said Scully of the scene.

Added Scully: “They’re aren’t very many people who can say, ‘Oh, sure, I raced Jackie Robinson — on ice.”


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